Bernard is recovering, slowly, and was moved out of the intensive care unit at MetroHealth on Thursday to a step-down unit. In the hospital, his sisters bring him videotapes - appropriately, "Miracle" was in the latest batch - to pass the time.
Doctors are worried most about his left leg now. He hasn't been able to move it. Though they are still focused on Bernard becoming well, money issues mount. The Sokolowskis are on the hook for more than $20,000 for the airlift. Their own travel costs came out of pocket, too. And big medical bills for Bernard are coming as well.
Enter friends of the Sokolowskis, the countless customers who have feasted on their food and friendship, the musicians who have jammed out rock 'n' roll and polka songs, the fellow business owners who know the Sokolowskis were committed to their neighborhood long before it was trendy, back when it wasn't Tremont, but just plain old South Side.
There's a $10-a-head polka benefit Sunday at the Holiday Inn in Independence, organized by the local polka community that often found itself enjoying spreads at Sokolowski's long after the joint had closed. Helenrae Budzilek, a regular customer at the restaurant and friend of the family, put it together. "This is what we do when somebody needs help."
The Tremont neighborhood is pitching in, too, with a June 29 fund-raiser at University Inn. Local restaurants - Theory, Lolita, Fat Cats, Sage and Fahrenheit - will fill the Sokolowski cafeteria line with their high-end specialties. Patrons will pay $100 apiece for the event, which begins at 5 p.m. and includes auction items such as local artwork, bottles of wine, chef dinners and restaurant gift certificates.